Watching the River Flow on Today's Marvel Releases

What's the matter with me,

I don't have much to say,

Daylight sneakin' through the window

And I'm still in this all-night cafe.

Walkin' to and fro beneath the moon

Out to where the trucks are rollin' slow,

To sit down on this bank of sand

And watch the river flow.

Here are a couple of quick thoughts on today's releases from Marvel that I don't think merited their own entries (odds are there will be spoilers involved). Enjoy!

- Did they seriously just retroactively make James Hudson a totally creepy bad guy in the pages of Wolverine Origins? How weird is THAT?

- Although, writer Daniel Way's continual usage of the Winter Soldier is neat to see, even if the "secret" message Logan left for Bucky was waaaay dorky. Real sneaky there, Logan, big bolded letters!! Top-notch spy work.

- It is so interesting to me to see Marvel essentially subsidize a Paul Jenkins' vanity project with Front Line. It's not even that the book is bad (the first issue of World War Hulk: Front Line was miles better than Civil War: Front Line, as it devotes the ENTIRE issue to the main Front Line story, without those ridiculous back-ups Civil War: Front Line was known for), it is just that there is no way a book like this would sell, if not for the fact that Marvel keeps tying the characters in the book to major events (first Generation M, then Civil War, now World War Hulk).

What's next - Countdown: Front Line?

- Khoi Pham's artwork for X-Factor #20 really dragged the book down for me.

- Meanwhile, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are ably abetted in the latest Iron Fist with great guest artwork for a flashback sequence by none other than the great Russ Heath! It's totally awesome.

- Not to be totally outdone, David Aja does some of his best work yet on this series in the latest issue. Brubaker and Fraction do a really good job with Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Very fun stuff.

- What, exactly, do you think the ultimate point of Thunderbolts will be? Do you think it will be the characters eventually actually becoming heroes? That'd be awfully neat to see.

- Bullseye permanently paralyzed. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. I mean, that's probably meant to be a joke, right? That Bullseye is basically in the same situation he's been in many times before?

- I love the way Ellis is making characters like Shadowoman look totally cool.

- World War Hulk: X-Men #1 was way better than it deserved to be. Christos Gage did a great job writing an issue that was essentially Kitty Pryde versus the demon at Christmastime, only this time it was Beast and the New X-Men versus the Hulk. Effective job by Gage of showing how frightening the situation would be. Andrea DeVito does a good job on artwork, too. The finale is strong, too - with the expected cliffhanger - but still done well, I thought.

- X-Men #200 reminds me of the idea Kurt Busiek had that led to Thunderbolts being created. About how new Avengers would slowly be introduced until the team was entirely Captain America and a bunch of new heroes, who would then reveal themselves to be the Masters of Evil. Mike Carey does a riff on that theme in this issue, as three new members of the X-Men APPEAR to reveal themselves as villains (although one only became a villain this issue).

- By the by, Ramos' art was pretty good on this issue, surprisingly enough (after doing some of the worst work of his career on earlier X-Men issues).

- Very cute Storm jokes in the latest issue of Fantastic Four.

- I don't like the idea of Hank Pym harboring a grudge against the Black Panther.

- Besides, didn't Civil War #7 end with a magazine cover showing the two together, shaking hands? Seems odd, then, to see Pym so angry with T'Challa.

- Funny line about Reed's take on how long it would take him to master Pym's field of expertise.

- Why DID an expert in biology like Pym build a freaking ROBOT?

- This week's FF ends in a classic cliffhanger. A true classic! But cliches are cliches, sometimes, because they always work! This cliffhanger is one of those things that always work.

More idle thoughts later today!

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